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I’m more granola than you know

April 25, 2007

Some of you know what my mother does for a living but most don’t. She is a Naturopathic Doctor. No, she wasn’t a hippie, she was married to a Baptist minister during the 70’s-80’s. Most of her (and my) beliefs about health come from the fact that God designed our bodies to be perfect and when it faulters he has designed something just as perfect to correct it.

Now, I grew up with this stuff, so I don’t think it’s cooky or weird. I have done it all, iridology, reflexology, herbs, homeopathy, tinctures, muscle testing, infared saunas, acupuncture, essential oils, healing prayer, natural birth…etc. Ya, this white bread girl is pretty granola. That’s not to say that I don’t take tylenol or antibiotics if needed, I just don’t think they should be first on the list of things to try. So where am I going with this…the FDA is now wanting to regulate all areas of Complimentary and Alternative Medicines (CAM). Most people think this is a long time in coming, but the document is written in such a way that it would put all practioners like my mother out of business. Not only that but in it there is actually a provision for “mind-body medicine”, which includes spirituality…that means prayer. Read the excerpt below

D. What Is “Mind-Body Medicine?”
NCCAM describes mind-body medicine as focusing on “the interactions among the brain, mind, body, and behavior, and the powerful ways in which emotional, mental,social, spiritual, and behavioral factors can directly affect health.”13 It states that mindbodymedicine “typically focuses on intervention strategies that are thought to promotehealth, such as relaxation, hypnosis, visual imagery, meditation, yoga, biofeedback, taichi, qi gong, cognitive-behavioral therapies, group support, autogenic training, and spirituality.”14

I just think this is uncalled for. Why in the world should a government agency try to regulate things that have been around longer than government itself. Asian contries have been using these methods for centuries and none fear their safety. I just can’t imagine gyms advertising that their new yoga program is FDA certified. The vote for this bill is on April 30th. Think about it, pray about it, and if you feel like I do write a letter to your representatives. Here’s the link for the full document.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. laura_harv permalink
    April 25, 2007 3:20 pm

    Sorry, a smack your mother reference just won’t fit here…since this is the case, I can’t help you-LOL.

  2. Micah permalink
    April 25, 2007 11:01 pm

    I have to say I fall on the other side of this one to some extent, babe. Low risk methods such as saunas, iridology, prayer, etc. are probably worthless to regulate for practitioners. However, if you do believe in the power of healing provided by accupuncture, chiropractic, and, especially, herbs, then you have to ask, “Who says it’s safe for me to use?” People always want an independent third party, i.e. not your mom or themselves, to give guidance on what to do. This third party should be highly respectable and of utmost integrity. Step in the FDA… While some are laughing at the “respectable” and “integrity” remarks and the FDA in the same breath, it’s all we got. Currently, herbs are available to the public, but for the most part are sold through distributors like your mom. The FDA does not regulate this transaction. It did consider these materials harmless. Now that the power of the herbs are coming to light, and the beauty that can be found by being proactive about health instead of just therapeutic (regulated drugs, e.g. lipitor, celebrex, etc.) is being shown, they’ve realized that there is an inherent risk for the practitioner and patient alike. Don’t miss this point… they DID consider it harmless, so going forward, it shouldn’t be as hard of a road as you think. This is especially true since the power of the FDA is dwindling, since there’s less and less resources for them to oversee more and more stuff. The recent food problems with petfood, spinach and peanut butter are my proof. Even if your mom is threatened by not being able to afford the increased cost of regulation, you may look at this from the bright side… Where there’s regulation from them, comes more research into the uses of naturopathic medicines. Once more light comes out about these medicines and practices, more people will switch because they ARE less harmful (broad statement with a grain of salt, please). As people switch, that’s more money, jobs and success for that health sector. I know our insurance will pay for some herbal remedies which is sign of a switch in progress. Of course, this may just add to the health care behemoth wrought with opulence on one end and destitution on the other.
    Also, the FDA will need guidance on these issues, they are by no means autonomous. Your mom could be of great help to them, in return for some pay.
    Lastly, neutraceuticals (think DHA, coQ10, beta-glucan, Vitamin E, etc, etc.) faced a similar challenge quite a while ago. They work very well, but since were they were not synthetic, did not require regulation. Now, the FDA has a program from the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (birthed around the mid 90’s) that requires a Notification of New Dietary Ingredient (NDI). Now that this area is “regulated”, let me give you a taste of the teeth they have… As long as you present a reasonable case for safety, that is, look at all the components of the material and quantify them, look at the uses of the material and probable dosage amounts per day then let an independent toxicologist panel review the results, all you have to do is write a letter to the FDA telling them what you did. The FDA doesn’t even look at it for months, you don’t HAVE to have it to sell product, but people may not buy it from you without that aforementioned “highly respectable and of utmost integrity” stamp. Now companies are approving their own ingredients for FOOD use going through similar routes as the NDI. That’s because the FDA is so laden with work. My point is, don’t sweat it for at least quite a few years, God will take care of your mom like He always has and there are plenty of good things that can come from this kind of recognition that your mom, being an expert in this area, can absolutely cash in on.
    I have to admit, I love your blog, keep it up, baby.

  3. Mrs. Needham permalink
    April 26, 2007 12:40 am

    Wow, thanks baby, as always you are completely thoughtful and long winded 🙂 But Lord have mercy on you if my mother reads this comment. She’s gonna tan your hide! By the way did you actually take the time to read the whole document?

  4. Micah permalink
    April 26, 2007 3:14 am

    No, I didn’t read the doc, but can imagine what’s in there based on other FDA communications I’ve read. I don’t think your mom would be pissed. Actually, I think she might agree. Read closely; I talk about how she’s in a valuable field that’s of less risk than synthetic therapeutics, providing the counter weight to the synthetic therapeutics and is an expert.

  5. Mrs. Needham permalink
    April 26, 2007 3:31 am

    stop reading my blog and freakin’ study!!!!!

  6. Patrick permalink
    April 26, 2007 7:04 pm

    Fascinating stuff, Ami.

  7. Darrel permalink
    April 27, 2007 10:30 pm

    Micah, you don’t get it. Read the
    document and then try to read what’s between the lines. This
    isn’t about regulation, it’s about
    total control. They don’t want to
    regulate it so much as erradicate
    most if not all natural remedies
    and practices. They want to put
    everything in the hands of the
    medical community i.e. doctors and
    pharmaceutical companies who don’t
    give a crap about it except that
    people are getting sick and tired
    of being lied to, overmedicated,
    relieved of multiple body parts,
    and receiving killing staff
    infections by the institutions
    created to heal them and are starting to hit them where it hurts, ow! in their pocketbooks.
    Are you really going to tell me
    that you think it’s OK for the
    FDA to regulate every single thing
    that relates to MY health. You say
    low risk methods are worthless to
    regulate for practitioners, but
    that’s exactly what they want to do. And tell me where they will
    draw the line. A “few years down
    the line” it will be too late.
    Oh, and by the way, don’t kid
    yourself about where you’re mother-
    in-law stands on this. You have
    no idea!

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